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Best time for visiting/biking Michigan's LP/UP?

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Best time for visiting/biking Michigan's LP/UP?

Old 01-03-19, 07:38 PM
  #26  
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In the Traverse City area, the Old Mission Peninsula is a popular route, too. A bit on the short side, though. For the (proposed) Leelanau Peninsula ride, are you afraid of hills? I ask because I have a few maps from the Northwest Tour, which is based between Glen Arbor and Empire. The ride up the middle of the peninsula is to die for; but you need to be ready for hills. Or you could take the trail up to Sutton's Bay, but you won't see much of the peninsula.
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Old 01-04-19, 03:31 AM
  #27  
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In the UP, another option is to take the MUP Tour run by League of Michigan Bicyclists. It's a 5 day 300-something mile tour totally in the UP. It starts in St. Ignace, which is a town at the foot of the Mackinac Bridge on the UP side. Views of Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, the Bridge, the locks and bridge at Soo, Lake Superior, Tequamenon Falls, and inland woods of the UP.
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Old 01-06-19, 12:11 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Tourism traffic has ramped up considerably these past few years. Might be from the Pure Michigan advertising campaign.
Over the last 20-25 years. the Michigan wines have gotten a lot more drinkable and the tasting rooms are a huge improvement.


Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
The bike ride around Mackinac Island is a pretty easy eight miles or so. Some trails cross over mid-island for some climbing. During the summer, the ride can be crowded with both inexperienced and rude riders. Should be much better for you given the time of year you plan going there.
I recommend time allocation as follows:

Leelanau Peninsula and Traverse City 1.5-2 days.
Add 1-1.5 days for Harbor Springs and Petoskey. Plan to ride the M22 tunnel of trees. More to see and experience than the UP.
Mackinac Island 1 day.
Detroit area stopover on way home. Grosse Pointe's are worth riding around if you like 1920's residential architecture.

If you seek accommodations in Empire or Suttons Bay and like AirBNB, contact me for suggestions.
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Old 01-06-19, 12:45 PM
  #29  
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Seemed like a good place to insert this.

https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,...3361--,00.html
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Old 01-15-19, 03:25 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I live in he U.P. , and personally I find that August and September are two of my favorite months to be outside. Most of the mosquitoes and flies are gone, and the weather is often still warm enough to be pleasant.
In my experience, late August into early September has a lot of rain, though. My parents used to take all the kids to the UP for the last two weeks before Labor Day and we could count on at least 10 days of rain in that 2-week time frame.
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Old 02-03-19, 02:29 PM
  #31  
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Near The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore . . .

I'd recommend September. Weather is moderating and the summer tourists are gone. Can't remember the last time I've gotten a mosquito bite around here. There are nice routes and some trails in Benzie, Leelanau, and Grand Traverse Counties.

New for 2019 is going to be an extension of the paved portion of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail through our National Lakeshore. It's always a nice ride N into Glen Arbor for lunch. One 13% grade hill along the way and you can stop for a dune climb or at the old logging and canning village of Glen Haven for a great view of the Manitou Passage and islands. The trail N of Glen Arbor is problematic as loose gravel makes riding my trike there excruciating and I take to the roads.

Another favorite trail is the Leelanau Trail to Sutton's Bay. One may start at several points along the way. Two wineries, Shady Lane and Black Star Farms, on roads close to the trail are worth the stop. The reds up here are not great, but the whites are exceptional.

Backroads are generally safe for cyclists and there are many good routes, especially on the Mission Peninsula above Traverse City.
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Old 02-03-19, 05:20 PM
  #32  
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Sounds nice but.. "One 13% grade hill along the way..." yipes!
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Old 09-30-19, 05:31 AM
  #33  
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I promised I'd post after our trip, which we completed last week.

We ended up booking 2 nights in Glen Arbor, 2 nights on Mackinac Island and 2 nights a bit further north into the UP (I guess the LUP?) in Trout Lake. On the way up, we stopped in Columbus OH to visit with friends and they ended their drought - 2 inches of rain fell while we were there, an omen for the rest of our trip...

We arrived in Glen Arbor at about 4pm, cloudy with gusty winds but no rain. The forecast was for rain the following afternoon, so made the (wrong) decision to walk around the town area and bike the Sleeping Bear Dunes Trail and area in the morning. Had a great meal at Blu on the lake.

The next morning it was in the low 50s and steadily raining with fog and low overcast - later on, flash flood warnings were posted! We ended up doing a car tour of the island, visiting a winery, the Grand Traverse lighthouse and the Sleeping Bear National Park visitor center - gave the windshield wipers a workout.

Monday am it was cold and cloudy and a spot check of the trail showed lots of it was covered in water - we eschewed biking and hiked the dunes. I'm glad we didn't miss that - a unique experience. Then we packed up the bikes and headed north to Mackinac Island - and solved their drought, too. It was raining as we pulled up to the ferry dock and sprinkling when we biked the 2 blocks to the Cottage Inn on the Island.

The weather cleared up Tuesday am and we biked the road around the entirely car-free island - another unique experience. We added 4 miles on the interior roads to visit the Arch and other interesting sites and had to deal with horse and buggy traffic jams on the muddy back rounds, as well as dodge many more horse "tweets." Later on that afternoon, I got back on the bike while my wife went shopping and did a few figure 8s around the island to get some mileage in. I rode through one neighborhood of "normal" houses (vs. all the Victorian big houses on the main town roads) and they looked very odd. Then I realized none of them had driveways or garages, since there are no cars on the island!

The next day rain was moving in again (the US radar map for most of the time we were in MI showed the entire country was dry except for a stretch from St. Louis to MI...) My wife is a runner, and she was determined to earn an 8.2 oval magnet for her bumper, so she ran the perimeter road in the drizzle while I packed everything up and walked both bikes to the ferry so we wouldn't have to use a luggage porter for the bags. The ferry ride was exciting as there was rain and high winds, but on the Mackinac City side the rain had stopped.

Since every mile up the UP was a mile we would have to retrace on the 800+ mile drive back, we stayed in Trout Lake at the Twin Cedars "Resort" - a very nice place with cabins and many fishing opportunities. Hadn't really planned any cycling up there - the main road (123) was pretty flat and had decent shoulders but not much scenery and 70 mph truck traffic was pretty constant. We relaxed at the cabin and walked around the area.

The next day we drove up to Tahquamenon Falls and hiked the paths at the Lower and Upper Falls, then on the way back drove up to Whitefish Point and did some hiking there, too. As life-long East Coasters it seems very odd to see gigantic freighters on a "lake" and not be able to see the other side.

The next morning , we started out early for the long drive back - in the rain, of course. It rained pretty steadily until about Saginaw and then it cleared up completely for the rest of the drive - where our lawn looked parched, since it hadn't rained a dropped all week while we were gone..,

First time in that area for both my wife and me, so we had a great time even though the biking mileage was even lower than our original modest plan. Hard to get a lot of mileage in on Mackinac Island, but that was very cool - I guess I could have done the 12 lap century ride!
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Old 09-30-19, 09:12 AM
  #34  
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Nice trip!

Makinaw is a good place for easy biking - good that you explored inland too. There is some fun (mild) mountain biking there too. Last time I rented a fat bike for the dirt trails, and enjoyed riding through busy areas on the shore with those super loud tires - they were effective at parting the crowds and certainly attention grabbing!

I do love that hike between upper and lower Tahquamenon Falls (especially the brewery/restaurant if you finish at the upper). I made the mistake of doing that in deep winter once and it was pretty post-holed (but beautiful).

Those Freighters go pretty darn fast when going down river (if you are at one of those points). As a life long gulf coast boy (once upon a time), I found it super odd to see seagulls so far inland. Not to mention the foreign concept of snow on beaches.

UP in general is not a great place to ride (as you noticed), although there are some pretty places - copper harbor is amazing - but incredibly far away from anything...
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Old 09-30-19, 12:04 PM
  #35  
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The UP can be a nice place to ride, but it is different. I'd say cross country road biking would be more difficult than many places, primarily due to truck traffic on 2 lane roads without much of a shoulder.


The area around Marquette has many off road trails and multiple MTB events in the summer. In the winter many of these are good fat tire snowbike trails. Search for "Noquemanon Trail Network". If casual riding, the bike path network surrounding Marquette has long stretches along Lake Superior and is mostly paved. The North Country Trail in the Marquette area is partially paved with long stretches of packed crushed limestone surfaces.


Here is the view from east of Marquette on the bike path looking northwest,


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Old 09-30-19, 12:42 PM
  #36  
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Many years ago, I rode across Wisconsin from Minneapolis to Saginaw, MI in the first week of October (like in two days). Weather across Wisconsin was beautiful. Clear, high clouds, reliable westerly wind. Cold at night. Into the mid-20s the first night. The day of riding from the Iron Mountain area along the north shore of Lake Michigan was also spectacular. The shore looked like cape Cod and to my left were the colors of autumn Vermont. (I grew up in Boston, so that is my reference base.)

Now the final day was in overcast and light rain. I also saw a touch of rain when I was near Iron Mountain. But that was a small price to pay for a week spent in God's country, the land of cheese and beer (really fresh PBR on tap anywhere for 25 cents/schooner). The Wisconsin countryside was beautiful and the UP with its shore and foliage, wow!

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Old 09-30-19, 01:41 PM
  #37  
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Glad you liked your trip, are you going to try it again and hope for better weather?
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Old 10-01-19, 04:38 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
Glad you liked your trip, are you going to try it again and hope for better weather?
From a biking perspective, it was a looong drive - I don't think I would make that drive again just for the biking. My wife loved the dunes, Mackinac Island and what we saw of the UP and would go back in a heartbeat.

We also kayak - I'd love to kayak the Pictured Rocks area. In the future, we may do a cross country kind of trip with the bikes and take the UP route on the way northwest and rent kayaks or join a group tour.
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Old 10-01-19, 05:25 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by daverup View Post
The UP can be a nice place to ride, but it is different. I'd say cross country road biking would be more difficult than many places, primarily due to truck traffic on 2 lane roads without much of a shoulder.
My wife and I have been up here in the western U.P. for about 10 days now. I can appreciate the observation about the two lane roads, shoulders and traffic. However, I would also add that our experience is the traffic is very courteous. They unfailingly move to the left lane when passing and traffic volume, or lack of, usually gives them room to do so, even the fully loaded tandem log haulers.

Colors are pretty much peaking right now, a good deal of rain but thus far mostly at night. Weather is turning, temps forecasted to drop.
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Old 10-01-19, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
My wife and I have been up here in the western U.P. for about 10 days now. I can appreciate the observation about the two lane roads, shoulders and traffic. However, I would also add that our experience is the traffic is very courteous. They unfailingly move to the left lane when passing and traffic volume, or lack of, usually gives them room to do so, even the fully loaded tandem log haulers.

Colors are pretty much peaking right now, a good deal of rain but thus far mostly at night. Weather is turning, temps forecasted to drop.
After 2 inches of rain yesterday, Marquette will have a high temp in the 40's tomorrow. I'm going to need an extra layer...
Have a safe trip,
Dave
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Old 10-01-19, 05:58 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
UP in general is not a great place to ride (as you noticed), although there are some pretty places - copper harbor is amazing - but incredibly far away from anything...
There's a fantastic mountain-biking axis from Marquette going through Ishpeming and Negaunee up through the Keweenaw to Copper Harbor. Munising also has a couple of worthy trail options.
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Old 10-01-19, 07:38 AM
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true dat. The whole Keweenaw Peninsula is breathtaking (road or mountain bike), and there are some mountain biking trails along the north coast. But ya know road riding through the middle of the peninsula is not on my bucket list (although there are tours that do that).
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Old 10-02-19, 04:22 AM
  #43  
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We were a bit ahead of the leaf colors, though not sure this will be a great year for color no matter what. But, did hit some purty spots in the lower UP.



Trout Lake as viewed from the dock at Twin Cedars.
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